Monday, May 28, 2012

My Cancun Trip part 1 - Search for the Chupacabra (and lots of cervezas)

Okay, so I’ll admit I’ve been a bad girl. Or, rather, a busy girl. I apologize profusely for not updating this little blog in quite awhile. BUT! to make up for this, here is a post about an awesome trip I took to Cancun, Mexico at the end of 2011. I had an absolute blast, and here’s how it all went down:

I woke up on a chilly October morning to these baffling words in my Twitter inbox: “Congratulations! You have been chosen as a winner in the Cancun CVB contest, including a complimentary (all-inclusive) stay at the Great Parnassus Resort and Spa in Cancun, Mexico!” Whaaaaaaaaat?! After reading these words I literally jumped up and did a crazy dance while “squeeeeing” in delight.

See, the thing is, I’ve NEVER travelled outside of Canada (save for a trip or two to New York state to purchase reduced priced Coach bags… but that’s another story.) I’ve never had the funds, or the courage, to venture out of my little happy, maple syrup drizzled, Canadian bubble. This was a -big- opportunity for me – and I jumped on it! Within days my plane was booked, the hotel was booked, and I was searching local stores for a perfect bathing suit to wear on the sunny beaches of Cancun.

Fast forward a couple months, and here I am sitting on a West Jet plane with complimentary ginger ale and Bits n’ Bites in my hand, travelling south to Mexico. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was (not so literally) crapping my pants skirt; anxious about what would unfold when I reached this foreign country. Would the people be nice? Should I have brushed up on my Spanish more? Will everyone try to sell me time-shares at the airport? Is the chupacabra real (and will it eat me if I look directly into its eyes)? Crap, did I pack the Pepto-Bismol?! Thankfully, a strong cocktail and a reassuring smile from a friendly West Jet flight attendant helped to calm my nerves.

Wing Shot from my seat going to Cancun. I love flying with West Jet!

Roughly four hours and a horrible in-flight screening of Halle Berry’s razzy-nominated ‘Catwoman’ later, the plane landed safely at the Cancun International Airport. Exiting the plane, I proudly received my first ever passport stamp (another happy dance ensued!), retrieved my bags, and met up with the taxi driver I had booked before hand to meet me there and ensure I got to the hotel in one piece (sans any chance chupacabra attacks – you can never be too careful.)

Landing in Cancun! Applause by all.

Upon arriving at the Great Parnassus Resort and Spa, I was stunned by how majestic it looked. The resort certainly lived up to its name – and our ocean-facing room with a balcony was no exception.

View of the ocean from the hotel room balcony
View of the Nichupte Lagoon from our balcony

We were greeted with not one, or two, but FOUR Dos Equis Cervezas, along with limes, salt, and several bottles of water. I don’t always go to Mexico, but when I do, I prefer it with Dos Equis. ;) The awesome staff at the resort made sure we never stayed thirsty.

Nice welcoming gift!
I do enjoy the Dos Equis

Not being accustomed to the heat, I quickly changed into something more comfortable and headed downstairs to check out the resort. Yes, an individual attempting to sell us time-shares approached us, but forcefully saying “no” as we were told to do, stopped him from asking again.

The remainder of my first day in captivating Cancun was spent taking full advantage of the “all-inclusive” perks the resort had to offer. Let’s just say, I had quite a few cervezas, and perhaps some tequila shots as well (but who’s really counting?). The bartenders in the various bars scattered throughout the resort were extremely accommodating to us foreigners. I also spent the entire evening laying out on a blue chair on the beach, soaking in the sun (with a high level SPF sunscreen on – have you -seen- how pale I am?!) and reading a Jodi Picoult book. Absolute heaven! You can’t beat the hot temps, turquoise water, an awesome buzz, and a good novel. Trust me, the combination of these things equals pure awesomeness. There were no sightings of the elusive and terrifying chupacabra on day one. I slept easy (and yes, I did remember to bring the Pepto. Phew.)

Another vid I took of our resort and the beach! 

Gorgeous stretch of beach in front of our resort!
The sun started to set, but I didn't wanna go inside!

Day two in Cancun followed a similar laid-back style as day one. My first authentic Mexican breakfast consisted of spicy eggs and refried beans (thankful once again that I remembered the Pepto-Bismol.) Sleeping in felt great, and immediately after breakfast we hit the African-themed bar downstairs (don’t judge.) An extremely strong tequila shot and cranberry vodka mix later, it was time to hit the beach again.

Me enjoying my cranberry vodka drink at the Kilimanjaro bar at the Resort. 
This dude made some wicked drinks! Tip a dollar American for extra strong booze :)
Tequila go down de hole.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect – bright blue skies, crystal clear water, warm temperatures, and an almost deserted beach. The entire day was spent enjoying the beach and the bar (and hoping back and forth from both.)

I'm so cool.
Stayed on the beach all day until sunset.
Enjoying my drink(s) :)

As the sun set, we went for a walk, witnessed a wedding on the beach, then went for a dip in the resort’s outdoor infinity pool. The cool water felt so soothing against my now sunburnt skin (Did I mention how pale I am?)

Sun setting on the beach. 
This pic I took reminds me of the poem, "Footsteps."

The night ended with a steak dinner that might have been the best meat I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting (or maybe this was the cervezas talking.) Seriously, the meat and potatoes just melted in my mouth.

This. Was. Amazing. Om nom nom.

We went to bed early because the next day we had to wake up at the crack of dawn to travel to ChichĂ©n-Itzá in the Yucatan. No sight of Mr.Chupacabra on day 2 either. I began to doubt his existence (but this is the prime time he will attack, so I still kept an eye out for him. I mostly just saw donkeys wearing sombreros… or maybe this was the cervezas talking.)

Day 3 and Day 4 of my Mexican vacay to be continued! Will Chuppy find me? Will I find him? Will he eat me? Is he writing this blog post at this very moment pretending to be me? All things to be revealed soon…